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STAGS HELP 4,000 KIDS
26/February/2004 14:06:40

STAGS HELP 4,000 KIDS
BY STEVIE RODEN, Evening Post, 26 February 2004

More than 4,000 children have so far benefited from an education scheme at Mansfield Town Football Club that combines sport with school studies.

The club set up the Stags Community Trust last June with the aim of using football as a learning medium for both youngsters and adults.

And now the scheme have been cheered on by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott who dropped by at the weekend before the club's match with Doncaster to view the new facilities in the West Stand.

These include a classroom, ICT room and cyber caf??.

He also handed over a cheque for £49,500 from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

Mr Prescott, who attended with health minister Rosie Winterton and Mansfield MP Alan Meale, said: "I am really impressed by the set-up and the work the Trust is doing.

"Football is a great game and it is good to see Mansfield Town working with the local community to help develop youngsters and adults both in their education and football.

"And the players and management give up their time to help the youngsters which helps keep them focused and interested because they are people they look up to."

Already more than 4,000 children, from five to 16, have taken part in both academic studies and football coaching during their visits.

The trust is a charity established by the club to promote lifelong learning, healthy lifestyles, education, social and economic regeneration and sports development.

Using the Field Mill ground as its base, it holds a variety of events for pupils, their families and community groups.

These include meet the player sessions, tours of the ground and various computer and health projects.

The trust is also running adult courses.

Mansfield Town chairman Keith Haslam said: "Sport has been recognised as a positive social vehicle for people and generations.

"Mansfield Town Football Club embraces this ethic, as the club aims to give its community a club and environment that it can be proud of and most noticeably feel part of.

"Stags Community Trust aims to reduce poverty and enhance the quality of the local environment by supporting individuals, voluntary and community groups."

For details about the Trust call Suzanne Lester on 0870 756 3160.


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